Getting the best price. The art of haggling. Not being taken for a rich fool. Not being ripped off. Look after the pennies and the £’s will look after themselves.
Last night we bought a small tray of figs.
The stall holder weighed them and gave the price of 10 lira (YTL). My “being ripped-off” antennae immediately bristled. The scales (in the couple of seconds they were in use) indicated a weight not equalling the nice neat number of “10”. Conversations over the years about “tourist price” and “Turkish price” adding to the bristling. I don’t think I am alone in not liking the feeling of having been ripped off. But we paid and said nothing.
Prior to the fig purchase we had enjoyed a lovely meal in the Fish Market.
The prawns were the same price for everybody (although a luxury “ticket price” for our Turkish friends), the sea bream was a bargain, the drinks were restaurant price – and we added some indulgent meze just because we wanted to – and then extra bread to mop up the lovely juices. The whole meal, including fish, came to 197 lira.
After that we made our way home on the water-taxi as another treat. It cost us 15 lira (instead of 5 lira on the dolmus (bus)).
And then we stopped for a drink on the way – we are on holiday after all.
The whole evening cost us £51.50 (in Turkish lira) – something similar “back home” would have cost 4-5 times as much.
Earlier in the day we had been invited to breakfast by our Turkish neighbours upstairs. It is customary to take a gift, so I had popped out to the local bakery and bought a couple of freshly baked loaves – special bread – to take upstairs. it cost us 5 lira – embarrassingly little. If I had done that “back home” it would have been a derisory gift – a gift that was not a gift at all. A gift of offence.
Here it was the right gift, a welcomed gift, a gift of friendship. Both loaves were added to a groaning table of delicacies bought and prepared (with not a little sweat) for us all to enjoy. A breakfast of celebration way beyond a normal breakfast for us all.
I have found God Soft Hands Jesus always offers the right gift – a gift of friendship. A gift irrelevant of “price tag”.
We have received gifts of both pennies and pounds – some of so many pounds I have fought to say no – too much! And often so few pennies I have dismissed “the gift” as an insult.
But I find that GSHJ does not see price-tags as I do. He has no “price-tag”. He is no price-tag. For love has no price – not of comparison – not of exchange rates – not of haggling and barter.
Love only has a price when I want a bargain. When I want back more than I (price) my giving compared to receiving. When I make love just another transaction.
And that is not love at all.